Brunei backs down on gay sex death penalty after international backlash

(CNN)Brunei will not impose the death penalty on those convicted of having gay sex, in an apparent bid to temper international condemnation following its roll out of strict new Islamic laws last month. The tiny oil-rich Asian kingdom became the first East Asian country to introduce Sharia law at a national level in 2014, introducing the legislation and associated penalties in stages. The country initially defended its new legal code, claiming it focused “more on prevention and punishment,” but the growing backlash appears to have forced the kingdom’s hand. In his speech on Sunday, the sultan said there had been a number of “misconceptions” about the laws which he acknowledged may have caused “apprehension.” “However, we believe that once these …